SL PM apologizes over failure to protect victims on Easter

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Colombo, April 26 (IANS) Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Friday apologized to the nation for the failure to protect victims from Sunday’s explosions which killed 253 people and injured over 500.

In a statement on his official Twitter account, Wickremesinghe said: “We take collective responsibility and apologize to our fellow citizens for our failure to protect victims of these tragic events.

“We pledge to rebuild our churches, revive our economy, and take all measures to prevent terrorism, with the support of the international community,” Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

A day after the attacks, Wickremesinghe said the police had received prior information of possible terror attacks but had failed to take adequate measures against the threats.

Wickremesinghe said he and his cabinet of ministers had not been informed of the prior threats.

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President Maithripala Sirisena, in a media briefing on Friday morning, told journalists that Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and Police Chief Pujith Jayasundara had received prior warnings from state intelligence over possible attacks but had failed to brief him as well.

He blamed both officials for severely neglecting their duties.

Fernando resigned from his post on Thursday following a request by the president. The President has requested the police chief to resign as well.

–IANS

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